5 Ways to Expose Your Baby to Other CulturesWe all want our sweet little ones to grow into the best possible versions of themselves. Psychologists around the globe have emphasized the importance of exposing children to different languages, experiences, and cultures. Teaching your little ones about this beautiful world doesn’t have to look like flying to Europe (although it sure could), it can be as simple as making dinner, or the story behind their favorite blanket. Here are our 5 fun ideas to expose your baby to other cultures:
Number One: Grab a Book in a Foreign Language
Next time you’re picking out a book for your baby, try reaching for one in a different language. Put that high school Spanish to use and let your child hear something new. Try to find a book that your little is already familiar with, like Curious George or The Hungry Caterpillar. This will help connect the two languages better. Baby’s brains are like sponges that absorb information faster than at any other time in their life. Take advantage of this! You can even make it a mini-lesson and show them on a map where the language originated. Kids are never too young to hear your voice, and you never know what might just stick. Studies have shown that children are capable of comprehending much more than we give them credit for. When you expose your baby to other cultures you will be surprised to discover that as they grow they will learn to be more open minded and accepting.
Number Two: Use a Fun Afternoon as a Teaching MomentWe know you are always doing fun activities with your little guys and gals. Have you tried thinking about how you can incorporate ways to expose your baby to other cultures? This October go on a adventure to the local pumpkin patch or the farmer’s market! You can use the fall produce to teach your kids about the seasons and the different cultures that use these veggies. Did you know that pumpkin carving dates back to the Celts in Ireland? They would put candles in carved pumpkins to light and decorate their homes!
Number Three: Try Out That Recipe You've Been EyeingOne of the most fun ways to teach kids about culture is with food! Instead of ordering take-out or hopping over to your favorite Thai restaurant, try whipping up an exotic meal at home. If your kiddos are old enough they can even lend a hand. Before digging in, identify the ingredients that are special, and what the kids usually eat in that culture! A delicious way to spark your child’s curiosity, and get them to try something new. Best of both worlds.
Number Four: Get CreativeIf painting with your kiddo seems daunting, we don’t blame you! However, by grabbing some newspaper and water soluble paint, this can make for your kid’s next favorite activity, and it's an opportunity to expose your children to other cultures. Painting bridges fine-motor skills with creativity and also offers a great learning opportunity. Teach your little one about colors, or how paint was made 100s of years ago with charcoal and berries. You can even show them art from different parts of the world! Ask if they can spot some differences between Asian and European paintings and ask them which one they like better. Pick up some wine for yourself, and pumpkin pie for the babes, and turn it into a fun family paint night for everyone!
Number Five: Pick a Gift With a Story Behind It
An easy way to incorporate a new culture into your child’s life is by buying a gift with a story behind it. Hopefully this will inspire you next time you set out to gift another little babe, whether for a baby shower or during the holidays. 10to12 has an array of timeless and sustainable gifts with exciting stories behind each one. Your child’s blanket is a huge part of their little lives.
You can share the story behind Liam the Lion as the two cuddle up together, with a story booklet that tells the tale of Liam’s newfound passion for oatmeal cookies as he finds himself in a far away land having to adapt to new cultural experiences! While bundled up, you can share about the origin of lions in Africa and maybe even take a trip to the zoo to see them in person.
There are learning opportunities peeping around every corner for you and your petit!